Social Work

The Department of Social Work at St. Catherine University offers social work degrees at the undergraduate (BSW) and graduate level (MSW).

The Department offers an undergraduate degree in Social Work (B.S. or B.A.) and minors in Social Welfare; Chemical Dependency Counseling: Addiction and Recovery; and Nonprofit Strategies and Operations (offered through the Economics Department).

The Master of Social Work (MSW) provides advanced professional study for women and men in social work. The program prepares social work practitioners for clinical social work practice and leadership.

SOWK 2810 Introduction to Social Work — 4 credits

This course introduces the student to the profession of social work within the context of the social welfare system. It provides an overview of an integrative approach to generalist social work practice which emphasizes intervention on individual, community and societal levels. Special emphasis is placed on values, human diversity, social justice and social work fields of practice.

SOWK 3400 Human Behavior and the Social Environment — 4 credits

The primary focus of this course is to investigate how humans interact with their social environments. This is a theory-heavy course focusing on metacognition- training students to think about the way we think. The course provides students with knowledge of theories of the social environments and how they impact, as well as are impacted, by human behavior. Further, theories on human behavior are examined through the multidimensional framework constituting biological, psychological, spiritual, socio-cultural, political, and economic factors. Emphasis is on the role of and interaction between these multiple factors at the level of various systems: the individual, family, small group, organization, community, and society, including political and economic systems. The course consists of five modules: interpersonal relations and empowerment; social systems; political and economic systems; justice; and multiculturalism. The course investigates the multiple dimensions and intersections of diversity including gender, race/ethnicity, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, nationality, and global and international perspectives. Students leave the class with a holistic understanding of the human experience within the environments that surround them.
Prerequisites: PSYC 2025, BIOL 1120 or consent of the program director.
Prerequisite with concurrency: SOWK 2810.

SOWK 3550 Communication and Interviewing Skills — 4 credits

This course is the first of a four-course practice sequence. The primary focus is on communication theory and skills as applied to social work with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations. There is an emphasis on self-awareness, beginning assessment skills and diversity issues. An integrative approach to generalist social work practice provides the context for intervention on individual, environmental and societal levels. SOWK 3550 is taken with SOWK 3750 (or 3780) in the fall for students in the College for Women. College for Adults bachelor's students take SOWK 3550 in the fall and SOWK 3780 in the spring.
Prerequisites with concurrency: SOWK 2810 and SOWK 3400 or by consent of the program director.

SOWK 3750 Junior Field Placement and Integrative Seminar — 2 credits

Junior Fieldwork complements students' academic work through practical experience in a social work agency, institution or department. Under the supervision of an agency field instructor, the student learns beginning social work tasks and functions while applying theory to actual social work situations. Students participate in an on-campus seminar with other junior social work majors while in placement. The placement is 10–12 hours per week throughout two consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters) for College for Women social work students. Prerequisites with concurrency: SOWK 2810 and SOWK 3400. SOWK 3780 (4 credits) is designed for College for Women students taking a semester abroad in their junior year and for College for Adults students. It combines SOWK 3750 and SOWK 3760 into a single semester. College for Women students must consult with the department chair before registering for this course.

SOWK 3760 Junior Field Placement and Integrative Seminar — 2 credits

Junior Fieldwork complements students' academic work through practical experience in a social work agency, institution or department. Under the supervision of an agency field instructor, the student learns beginning social work tasks and functions while applying theory to actual social work situations. Students participate in an on-campus seminar with other junior social work majors while in placement. The placement is 10–12 hours per week throughout two consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters) for College for Women social work students. SOWK 3780 (4 credits) is designed for students taking a semester abroad in their junior year and for College for Adults students. It combines SOWK 3750 and SOWK 3760 into a single semester. Students must consult with the department chair before registering for this course.

SOWK 3780 Junior Field Placement and Integrative Seminar — 4 credits

Junior Fieldwork complements students' academic work through practical experience in a social work agency, institution or department. Under the supervision of an agency field instructor, the student learns beginning social work tasks and functions while applying theory to actual social work situations. Students participate in an on-campus seminar with other junior social work majors while in placement. The placement is 12-16 hours per week over one term. College for Adults students take SOWK 3780 (4 credits) in the spring of their Junior year. College for Women students are only eligible for SOWK 3780 if they are taking a semester abroad in their junior year and can register in the fall or the spring. It combines SOWK 3750 and SOWK 3760 into a single semester. College for Women students must consult with the department chair before registering for this course.
Prerequisites with concurrency: SOWK 2810 and SOWK 3400.

SOWK 3800W Social Work Research — 4 credits

This course fosters competence in the research skills needed for generalist social work practice. Students will gain knowledge in the steps of conducting research; practice evaluation; conducting research with vulnerable participants; locating and critically evaluating relevant research to inform practice; and evidence-based practice. They will learn values of ethical research practice, using the Belmont Report and the NASW Code of Ethics as guidelines. Particular emphasis is placed on protecting vulnerable research participants. Students will also gain skills in writing and presenting a literature review, developing a research proposal, and applying relevant research to practice. This course serves as the writing intensive course in the major.
Prerequisites: SOWK 2810 and junior status or consent of the program director.

SOWK 3850 Group Work Skills — 4 credits

This course is the second of the four-course practice sequence. The primary focus of the course is on the study of human behavior in groups with emphasis on the use of groups in generalist social work practice to accomplish individual, family, organizational and/or community goals. This course provides experiential learning opportunities to integrate knowledge, values and skills as both a group leader and a group member. The effects of diversity on group interaction are stressed. SOWK 3850 is taken with 3760 for College for Women students or 3780 for College for Adults students in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: SOWK 3550 or consent of the Program Director.

SOWK 3910 Social Policy for Social Change — 4 credits

This course equips students to understand and critically analyze current and past social policies. Policy alternatives are explored with a focus on the values and attitudes as well as the societal, economic and political dynamics from which they originate. Roles and responsibilities of citizens and professionals in formulating and implementing policies responsive to actual social needs are addressed.
Prerequisite: SOWK 2810 or consent of the Program Director.

SOWK 3994 Topics — 4 credits

SOWK 4010 Generalist Practice I: Small Client Systems — 4 credits

This is the third course in the four-part practice sequence. This course prepares students for generalist social work practice with individuals, families and groups in the context of their social environments with emphasis on aspects of diversity. A primary focus is the application of social work knowledge through increased development of skills. The overall goal of the course is integration and application of the stages of the generalist social work method. SOWK 4010 is taken with SOWK 4050 in the fall by seniors.
Prerequisites: SOWK 3550 and SOWK 3850 and senior status in the major.
Corequisite: SOWK 4050.

SOWK 4020 Generalist Practice II: Large Client Systems — 4 credits

This course is a continuation of SOWK 4010 and the final of four courses in the practice sequence of the social work curriculum. The focus is on prevention/intervention methods based on generalist social work knowledge that can be applied to client systems of all sizes. A special emphasis is placed on effecting planned change in groups, organizations, communities, and national and global society toward the pursuit of social justice. A combination of lecture, discussion, experiential learning, and small group activities provides students with knowledge and skills for client advocacy and social change. SOWK 4020 is taken with 4060 in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: SOWK 4010.
Corequisite: SOWK 4060.

SOWK 4050 Senior Field Placement and Integrative Seminar — 4 credits

Senior Fieldwork complements the student’s academic work through practical experiences in a social work agency, institution or department. Under the supervision of an agency field instructor, the student learns social work tasks and functions while applying theory to actual social work situations. Students participate in an on-campus seminar with other senior social work majors while in placement. The placement is approximately 15-20 hours per week throughout two consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters). Offered fall semester.
Corequisite: SOWK 4010.

SOWK 4060 Senior Field Placement and Integrative Seminar — 4 credits

Senior Fieldwork complements the student’s academic work through practical experiences in a social work agency, institution or department. Under the supervision of an agency field instructor, the student learns social work tasks and functions while applying theory to actual social work situations. Students participate in an on-campus seminar with other senior social work majors while in placement. The placement is approximately 15-20 hours per week throughout two consecutive terms (fall and spring semesters). Offered spring semester.
Corequisite: SOWK 4020.

SOWK 4602 Internship — 2 credits

This course is a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. It is not to be confused with the required internships for juniors and seniors who are majoring in social work. An internship involves you in the profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

SOWK 4604 Internship — 4 credits

This course is a structured out-of-class learning experience that takes place on or off campus and includes a substantial work component. It is not to be confused with the required internships for juniors and seniors who are majoring in social work. An internship involves you in the profession in an exploratory way to test career interests and potential. To initiate an internship experience, meet with the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. Offered in the College for Women and the College for Adults.
Prerequisites: Faculty sponsorship and approval by department chair.

SOWK 4850 Seminar — 4 credits

This is an opportunity to explore advanced areas of the social work profession in small groups under departmental supervision.
Prerequisites: Admission to the major or permission of the instructor.

SOWK 4952 Independent Study — 2 credits

Independent study is offered in the College for Women and in the College for Adults.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and department chair.

SOWK 4954 Independent Study — 4 credits

Independent study is offered in the College for Women and in the College for Adults.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and department chair.